Post-Franmas AND a Donkey Wine Bottle AND a Very Special Franmas Present

published by Fran Shea

My older sister warned us even before we dared set foot in the antique shop of Barnstable Village, “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING ANYTHING IN HERE!!!” We quietly crept in, SHE turned around while “shopping” and promptly knocked The Donkey Wine Bottle to the floor AND had to shell out $24 to pay for it.

Oopsy!!

She swore us to secrecy because she was filled with shame AND when we got back to the house, she WHIPPED that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle into the Great Salt Marsh. When The Coast Was Clear my friend and I picked our way through the low-tide marsh, found that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle/element of shame and put it in her bed ala The Godfather.

MINUS the blood/mafia message BUT WITH ALL SHAME INCLUDED. Oh, how we laughed!

Speaking of laughing… Our sewer backed up yesterday, the laundry-room was full o’ poop, and the plumber used his special camera to determine that we need to tear up our front yard and replace the pipe! ANOTHER oopsy! The good news is that Lucy scrubbed the laundry-room floor with gusto and into the night! Whew! That’s totally worth it!

That event inspired a card!

That Dad drops wisdom and truth-bombs.

Various Meats, Come Forth!

published by Fran Shea

I wrote this in 2009 for another blog and decided 12 years is long enough to wait to share with the dedicated Zeichen Press readers. See how important recycling is?!

•••••

Various Meats, Come Forth!

There was a story in the news yesterday about a fish-store owner who drove to the airport to pick up a special delivery of exotic fish. The seven-foot long package they gave him did not, in fact, contain $1,000 worth of exotic fish. It contained exactly one dead man – Jon Kenoyer.

Oops!

The dead man was supposed to be delivered to some institute – he had donated his body to “science”.

What the f*ck?

A) Who does that?
B) What does that even mean? What sort of experiments can be performed on a man that has been dead for 5 days?
C) Who does that?
D) Isn’t that whole embalming thing done so that your loved ones don’t have to plug their noses while they kneel in front of your stiff corpse at your wake?
E) Was Jon packed in those cute little peanuts or placed gently in a silk-lined coffin?

More about rotting meat:

We left Minnesota in the middle of a heat-wave one summer and returned to discover a “freezer” full of rotting meat.

The cab dropped us off and we dragged our luggage past tumbleweeds and panting squirrels.
PANTING SQUIRRELS.

That’s how hot it was.

Opening the front door of the house was like opening the tomb of Lazarus.

“Various Meats, come forth!”

Whereupon they that were dead stayed dead. The stench of rotting meat stung our noses. The refrigerator in the basement had lost power and 40lbs of frozen chicken, cow, and pig thawed and rotted. To make matters more delicious, every window had been shut tight for two weeks.

Two steamy weeks.

Also:

I had a dream last night about a really, really smelly raccoon. He wanted to be my “companion” but every time he came near me, I winced – it made him feel bad. I kept apologizing and saying, “okay, I’m sure it’ll be fine this time – come closer.”

The Tell-Tale Teacher

published by Fran Shea

I was listening to a podcast…

Don’t judge me. I SAID DON’T JUDGE ME. The book of Genesis is chock full of names I can’t pronounce, BUT I can pronounce Jacob and Esau and that reminded me of a teacher we had at Incarnation when I was 9 years old named MR. JACOB ESAU. He was our science teacher (was he, though?? He had an apple-cider jug full of apple-cider that had a baseball-sized mold glob floating in it and was obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe.) To get into the character of Science Teacher he would recite The Tell-Tale Heart.

Soooo…

I thought about that and then I made this:

PS: POST-EVERYTHING

published by Fran Shea

Yeah, Thanksgiving was yummy, Christmas was great, New Year’s was chock-full of memories (was it?? I DON’T REMEMBER.) I DO know that Winnie was TERRIFIED of the Christmas present I got her.

And I gave Lucy a whimsical tea-set!

See?? WHIMSICAL.

Is that a pterodactyl? A robot? BIGFOOT??? 

I plan on terrifying Winnie every Christmas and getting Lucy the real Sasquatch next year… Shh! It’ll be a surprise! IF I’m still alive next Christmas! (FINGERS CROSSED!)

JUST KEEP MARCHING!

published by Fran Shea

On the Cape, before we got our mail from the Post Office we would dig our grubby fingers in the change return box from the line of pay phones hoping to find a forgotten dime to spend on penny candy. (I swear I’m not 90 years old.)

Things are so much easier now because of our smart phones! RIGHT?? (Insert cry-face here.)

Speaking of pay phones, my son-in-law finished that balcony just in time!

But wait! in a few days:

See how magical?? I finally have a place to march!

And SPEAKING OF MARCHING?.. The Intern ™  brought me some Easy Reading:I think she was hoping I’d scour the magazine for vintage content to inspire new cards.

But first I have A LOT of stories by Miss Phyllis Moore Gallagher to catch up on (like, 80 years worth).

Oh, ALSO, I got an email from the art licensor… They want to turn some of the “card art” I sent them into post-it notes!

And here is a design I made inspired by the 2020 election. DON’T TELL ANYONE.

Did you hear me??? I said, MAZEL TOV, BITCHES!!!

published by Fran Shea

Remember when you were voted three different things by your senior class??And you daren’t show your Mom because that would shatter the illusion that you had so carefully constructed?? Just kidding, I had no parent fooled. PS: I didn’t even buy that yearbook because I was too busy partying. SORRY?? (PPS: NOT sorry.)

Now onto popular culture!: I didn’t even know that ACB was a Zeichen Press fan!

Oh, and just because everyone loves cute babies holding late nineties ephemera, here’s a photo of Winnie holding Po. Ignore that creature at our backdoor. 

Little Red Wagon, ETC.

published by Fran Shea

In the 1970s my Mom used to drag us in our little red wagon to the library.

Up Vincent Avenue where I would later trudge to school and never had Mountain Dew poured on my head by Eric Swanson and Tom Remier after they ALLEGEDLY smashed my diorama to smithereens.

But NOW there’s no reason to have your Mom drag you up to the library in your little red wagon BECAUSE you can just LISTEN to Audiobooks on an app!

WHAT A RELIEF/BORE!

Pretty HUGE

published by Fran Shea

Last week, a company in England

sent us an email praising our “delightfully bonkers” cards, I was CRUSHED because our cards are super sincere! They wanted to know if they could letterpress print/distribute them across the pond. I’ve heard people call the Atlantic Ocean a pond and I think it’s WAY bigger than a pond  – COME ON, PEOPLE!! This was perfect timing because I make all the decisions about my house based on whatever is happening with Zeichen Press and I really needed a place to practice my John Philip Sousa marches!Thanks to my son-in-law this will be a rug-shaker AND marching-practice balcony – FINALLY.

To celebrate (after high-fiving Jen), I made a card:

And Kim Jong Un came out of his coma to share this wish: (What a trooper!)

Gradually and then suddenly, or whatever

published by Fran Shea

Remember when your little sister was born so your parents sent you (and your impossibly short shorts) and your little brother to stay with your Aunt Patricia on the Cape?? REMEMBER THAT??

Oh… THAT WAS MY OWN PERSONAL MEMORY.

I think Ernest Hemingway said something about going bankrupt gradually and then suddenly – isn’t that the way with so many things?? First you are just a sister and the next thing you know, you’re on an airplane telling an old woman that you will for sure write to her but then feel guilty about talking to a stranger and crumple up her address and throw it in the Boston airport trash can.

Speaking of old women (wait, what?), here’s a Valentine. (Wait, what?)